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iPhone  header logo

Bounce Trap

For: iPhone

A gateway game

Product: Bounce Trap Tilt | Publisher: PlayScreen | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Casual | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Bounce Trap Tilt iPhone, thumbnail 1
Addiction is a cruel mistress. She sneaks up on you, luring you with promise of pleasure. It's a rouse, a trap – one time and you're hooked. Bounce Trap ensnares you with its easy-to-learn gameplay, drawing you back with its subtle strategic depth. Not all is a ball here, though, as chance plays a role in shaping the game's shortcomings.

The goal in Bounce Trap is to fill every hole on the screen with a coloured ball. For each level you're given 50 balls that drop from the top of the screen. As the ball rolls from right to left at the top, tapping the screen creates an opening that causes it to drop down into the board. Timing is critical, as it obviously affects the sphere's trajectory. When a ball passes by an empty hole, it sticks; on the contrary, a ball bounces off a hole that has been filled with another ball.

It's a mix of Peggle and pachinko that bears equal elements of strategy and chance. While you can't really control the ball's movement, you are able to set the starting point. This enables you to influence specific scenarios that improve your chances of filling all the holes and earning gads of points.

Chief among strategies is how to confront filling every hole on the screen. In early levels, simply releasing a bunch of balls and letting them bounce around until they land in a hole is sufficient to pass. Advanced stages, however, require you to maximise every last ball to fill difficult-to-reach gaps. Working from top to bottom doesn't always pay off, nor does clearing holes from side to side. Each level demands a slightly new strategy that keeps the experience fresh and challenging.

Other strategic considerations include the colours of the balls in play. Fill three holes in a line with the same hue ball and they automatically clear from the board. Additionally, bounce a ball of the same colour off one stuck in a hole and that hole clears. Should you bounce a ball of a different shade, though, it'll take three bounces to clear the hole. Eliminating holes is a double-edged sword, opening up new areas for your balls to go to but at a loss of things to bounce from.

Chance therefore plays a significant role in Bounce Trap and it's not altogether great. Since you have such limited control over your balls, there's always the possibility that they'll miss your intended mark. You can ace one level and then bomb the next, struggling to overcome the probabilities of the game's bouncy physics.

More annoying, however, is the design of the boards. Working through the game's 35 levels sees a gradual increase in the number of hole on the board. Some of these line the very edges of the screen, which you can correctly guess are tough to reach. Here's where the ugly side of the Bounce Trap addiction comes into play. Despite these stages being so difficult, you're only antagonised to continue playing until you succeed. It's an odd form of satisfaction.

Other elements could probably be introduced to amplify the game, such as rewarding points for bounces to up the scoring and implementing some use of the accelerometer. Neither omissions are flaws, but both could add to the foundation of an already fun game. As is, Bounce Trap provides polished casual play with enough depth to entertain a seasoned gamer.
Bounce Trap
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 15 December 2008
You'll have a ball with this mix of bouncy strategy, colourful graphics, and chance
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